Literatures, Languages & Cultures

Configuring ‘World Theatre’

The School of Literatures, Languages and Cultures (LLC) is delighted to host Configuring ‘World Theatre’, a two-day conference on Gaining Global Perspectives on Transnational and Intercultural Drama and Performance. 

About the conference

The conference will bring together scholars from Modern Languages departments and related disciplines within the Arts and Humanities for two days of discussion on the topic of World Theatre.

Within the Anglophone and European contexts, 'World Theatre' still tends to be understood as referring to the research of separate national theatrical traditions and practices from across the globe or giving overviews of individual theorists and practitioners from outside of the European and American world. Yet there is much that theatre research can gain from the methodologies and insights of World Literature research and Transnational Studies.

While World Literature has become a well-established paradigm for Modern Languages research in recent decades, this conference seeks to promote the field of World Theatre in Scotland and beyond. Bringing researchers who specialise on theatre within different language areas and scholars from related disciplines into conversation with each other and with existing theories of World Literature and Transnationality, we hope to find exciting new avenues for on-going and future scholarship, including collaborative research.


Following the submission of abstracts in October 2018, the conference programme has now been finalised.

There will be five panel sessions over the two days, with research papers and discussions on a wide and varied range of topics led by scholars from institutions across the world. 

The keynote talk on the first evening - ‘World Theatres: Of Peoples, Cultures and their Theatres’ - will be delivered by Osita Okagbue, Professor of Theatre and Performance at Goldsmiths, London.

Also on the first evening, participants will attend a performance of Henry Roberts’s The Swallow and the Nightingale by Boxed-In Theatre at Summerhall (a short walk from the venue), followed by post-performance discussion with cast and crew.

The conference will end with a collective table ronde discussion led by Julia Prest, Michael Wood and Osita Okagbue.


Conference organisers: Julia Prest and Michael Wood 


Booking for the conference is now open.

Full, two-day attendance is priced at £15. It is also possible to book for Day One (£5) or Day Two (£10) only.

Limited places are available for the theatre performance and discussion on the opening night.

Find out more and book on ePay, the University’s booking system


The conference is funded by the AHRC Open World Research Initiative (OWRI) “Cross-Language Dynamics: Reshaping Community”. We are grateful for additional support from the School of Modern Languages at the University of St Andrews and the British Academy. Two bursaries for graduate students giving papers will be available on a competitive basis.

Conference supporter logos


The image we've used is a depiction of the exhibition of Native American tribal Ceremonies in Philadelphia, painted by John Lewis Krimmel and Pavel Svinyin (some time between 1811-1813). It represents a culturally mediated attempt to portray the performance of cultural practices by one set of people to another, albeit within a context within which the culture having to represent itself through ritualised performance is being eradicated by the audience for which it is being performed.


Configuring ‘World Theatre’

A two-day conference on Gaining Global Perspectives on Transnational and Intercultural Drama and Performance.

Project Room (1.06)
50 George Square